Old Bus Photos

Bristol Tramways – Bristol L – NHY 947 – 2815

Bristol Tramways - Bristol L - NHY 947 - 2815

Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company Limited
Bristol LWL6B

NHY 947 is an ECW ‘Queen Mary’ coach body with the sort of chassis one might expect underneath – not the AEC Regal rebuild in Tilling livery submitted a while ago! This Bristol LWL6B was new in 1951, with ECW FC35F body. We see it on Southampton Common on the sunny morning of 7 May 1979, while taking part in the Southampton City Transport Centenary rally.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

16/01/17 – 06:29

The only batch of these bodies sold to a Scottish operator were on Daimler chassis.

Stephen Allcroft

17/01/17 – 07:03

NHY 946

This photo of fellow LWL6B, NHY 946, No.2814, was taken in Railway Place, Bath in August 1958. The term "Queen Mary" has been applied in enthusiast circles to a number of psv types, notably the full fronted PD3s of Southdown, though in that latter instance the accuracy of the sobriquet is strongly disputed in some quarters. I always understood that the intended analogy was with the low loading military articulated lorries designed for the carriage of tanks and heavy plant rather than the Cunard liner, and was meant to suggest a certain degree of ponderousness in appearance and progress. This style of ECW body did suffer from rather heavy frontal treatment, but it compared quite favourably with the dreadful full fronted efforts of some other contemporary coachbuilders on front engined chassis.

Roger Cox

17/01/17 – 07:05

NHY 946 is pictured in this thread Bristol Tramways – Bristol L6B – NAE 3 – 2467  this time in the cream and maroon livery of 1963.

Geoff Pullin


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Bristol Tramways – Bristol LS – NHU 2 – 2800


Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company Limited
Bristol LSX5G

This Bristol LSX5G with chassis number LSX.001 was new to Bristol Tramways in 1950 and has an Eastern Coachworks B42D body numbered 4978. It was, as its chassis number suggests, a prototype. Seen here at the Bristol Waterfront Running Day 22/05/2011.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

07/06/15 – 10:12

Nice, Les! Another for me to delete from my list of possible future submissions . . .

Pete Davies

08/06/15 – 07:25

MAH 744

This image is scanned from my original print so not great, however it is a piece of history. The two prototypes were together for the first time in 54 years here at Showbus 2005. The red one is Eastern Counties LL744 and registered MAH 744 with chassis number LSX002 and Eastern Coachworks B42F body 4255. Not a great shot but I thought it worth sharing.

Les Dickinson

08/06/15 – 16:10

I hadn’t realised until I saw the LS at this angle just how American are the lines of this bus enhanced perhaps by the rear doors.

Orla Nutting

09/06/15 – 06:03

Orla, just seen this and my thoughts were exactly the same. They would not looked out of place in any US city in the 50s and 60s.

Phil Blinkhorn

10/06/15 – 06:41

You can find the same in cars of that era. It’s really the front end with the decorative bits and anti-glare windscreen that does it- but what is the central light for? A foglight was at a lower level, usually nearside, illuminating the kerb. This is higher on (2) and in the middle?


10/06/15 – 08:24

I think that it was a fashionable idiosyncrasy at the time. Think of contemporary cars like the then Rover 75 and Austin A90 Atlantic. They never really caught on and eventually were phased out by Rover and the A90, though very eye catching, didn’t appeal to either the UK or American market (where the 1948 Tucker ‘car of the future’ was similarly equipped). Similarly in France the early ’50’s Panhard Dyna had a central oblong foglight in the bumper but these too were designed out on later models (pretty impractical anyway given French street parking practices!).

Orla Nutting

21/06/15 – 05:52

Nice photos Les, and its lovely to see the two LS prototypes together again as you say. They are both interesting vehicles in their own right. The ‘Bristol Bristol’ (LSX001) was originally powered by an experimental horizontal version of the Bristol AVW engine – this experimental power unit being designated XWA, with the production version becoming the LSW. A Gardner 5HLW engine was fitted in 1953, along with 8ft wide axles in lieu of the original 7ft-6" ones, and the bus was converted to single-door layout in 1956. (It’s great to see that LSX001 has been restored to original B42D configuration, which must have involved a fair bit of time, effort and money to say the least, and it is a credit to everyone concerned).
Relating to the Eastern Counties Bristol (LSX002), this vehicle was fitted with a Gardner 4HLW engine from new. Generally LS vehicles were powered by either Bristol LSW, or Gardner 5HLW/6HLW engines, but ECOC did take delivery of further LS4Gs, but I believe this was a small batch of five vehicles. Both prototypes had aluminium alloy underframes, to reduce weight, but production LS underframes were of pressed steel, which was easier to weld and was less expensive. Despite the use of a steel underframe however, the LS in bus form with Gardner 5HLW engine tipped the scales at around 6.25 tons, which is very creditable. Economy was also good, with Southern and Western National’s LS5G buses apparently averaging 15mpg on country services – aided no doubt by 5-speed overdrive gearboxes.

Brendan Smith

07/06/16 – 18:46

The memory is probably going, but I think I recall Bristol LS coaches prior to the introduction of the MW. These had deeper windscreens with rounded corners and I always thought them to be a prettier body. I’m remembering back to Southampton coach station in the 1960’s(that milk machine had the best strawberry milk on the South Coast!)and I am sure that Royal Blue, Southern National & possibly Hants & Dorset examples used to visit there. Do we have any photos?

David field

08/06/16 – 06:01

LTA 867

The handsome early style of ECW coach body for the Bristol LS that David describes appeared in 1952. Royal Blue had a batch of fourteen of this type delivered in that year with C41F bodywork (though the LS was an integral vehicle, of course). They were all reseated to C39F in 1960. Here is LTA 867, fleet number 1279, leaving Victoria Coach Station for Bournemouth in the summer of 1961.

Roger Cox

09/06/16 – 06:47

Roger, would this particular version of the LS coach body be the one where the front windscreens wound down into the dash panel? There doesn’t appear to be any other method of opening and I believe it was still a requirement at the time that the drivers windscreen, at least, should have the capability. I imagine it wouldn’t be possible to wind them down to a point where the wipers could become trapped on the inside of the glass!

Chris Barker

09/06/16 – 16:52

Yes, the LS coach windscreens do wind down into the dash panel. Those who admire this style of Royal Blue coachwork may like to note that one of this style is expected on the 2016 Royal Blue run – details at //www.tvagwot.org.uk/event-royalblue.htm.  
That style only applied to the 1952 built LS coaches – those built from 1953 onwards having the windscreens made of two flat sections, the upper one being hinged at the top, in the same way as the first style of MW coach body.

Peter Delaney

09/06/16 – 16:53

Yes windows wind part way down. One of the batch took part in this years London-Brighton run MOD 973 I think.

Roger Burdett

10/06/16 – 05:37

They must have been the biggest panes of glass ever to have been wound down (and up) – pretty heavy, I would guess.
And one of the very few (perhaps only) winding windows to have windscreen wipers, too.


18/09/19 – 06:58

Saw NHU 2 heading west along the A38 at South Brent this morning. It followed me up the slip road at Wrangaton before turning off towards Kingsbridge. As she passed me on the slip road she looked absolutely superb and in really good mechanical condition a tribute to her owners.

Thomas Bowden

29/07/22 – 06:05

I have just found your interesting site. Such wonderful memories of the 1970’s and being a bus ‘spotter’ living in Hedingham & District land.
Referring to NHU 2, I remember seeing it in Cirencester in the late 1970’s and photographing it in a very sorry state, along with other old Bristol buses. Many, many other photos I have, but all taken with a Zenith E, and none digitalised.
Bristol LS 476 BEV was a favourite school bus, to me it has a sublime engine note, quite different from the other LS’s and MW’s. I can recall it quite clearly even now.
Thank you for the pictures.

Stephen Gifford

30/07/22 – 05:58

Stephen, 476 BEV was delivered to Eastern National as its N0.400 in January 1955, and from information on Gerry Tormey’s wonderful Bristol Vehicles website, it was converted to Commer TS3 two-stroke Diesel engine. Presumably this was carried out by ENOC, although I’m happy to be corrected on this. 400 was converted to Gardner 5HLW engine in April 1960, renumbered 1220 in August 1964, and withdrawn by ENOC in January 1966, passing to Hedingham & District (D R MacGregor) the following month. H&D withdrew 476BEV in March 1973, and it passed to Paul Sykes (dealer) the same month, presumably for scrap.
I’m quite envious of you riding on a TS3-engined LS bus Stephen, as it must have sounded gorgeous, although perhaps a bit raucous (or should that be racy?) compared to the usual 5-pot Gardner.

Brendan Smith

31/07/22 – 08:47

Can’t find any TS3 Commer engine’d buses/coaches, but there are several videos of such lorries, if you want to hear that fruity sound again!

Chris Hebbron

01/08/22 – 08:18

Thank you Brendan and Chris for your follow up information. I always had a feeling there was something special about 476 BEV.
I have many memories of Eastern National Halstead and Braintree depots in the 60’s and 70’s and travelling to ‘exotic’ locations like Colchester and Southend with my bus spotting friend.
It is so interesting to find your site.

Stephen Gifford


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Bristol Tramways – Bristol L6B – NAE 3 – 2467

Bristol Tramways - Bristol L6B - NAE 3 - 2467

Bristol Tramways
Bristol L6B

Whilst there are plenty of Bristols on the site, I don’t think I’ve seen this one represented so far. This exposed-rad Bristol L6B was shot at the Bristol Waterfront Running Day in 2011. New to Bristol Tramways in 1950, so sixty-one years old in this picture and looking well!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

27/06/13 – 08:56

Nice view, Les! What I find especially interesting is the combination of the usual Tilling green and cream livery with the greyhound logo. In my experience, the logo was accompanied by a red and cream . . .

Pete Davies

01/07/13 – 06:50

Greyhound coaches were cream and green during my youth in Bristol. The first to appear in cream and red were some 1963/4 Bristol RELHs and the new livery was then applied to older coaches but, by then, the three L6Bs had been withdrawn.

Geoff Kerr

01/07/13 – 09:17

The superb ECW interiors of these vehicles were glorious. Whether in red or green "Tilling group" fleets the interior scheme was, I believe, light green with "marble effect" panelling. Flooring and ceiling linings were also green and the seating moquette delightful. I’ve had many a wonderful journey from Leeds to London on West Yorkshire ones – nine hours and three refreshment breaks, and every mile an acoustic and comfort joy. Somewhere I have a very poor box camera picture of such a vehicle during a break on one of my many trips.

Chris Youhill

02/07/13 – 09:00

JWU 892_int

JWU 892

Further to Chris Youhill’s enthusing about these L6B coaches, particularly the West Yorkshire ones, I thought I would add a picture of the interior which he was describing. I think that the interior panelling colour was called eau de nil and even the lino flooring had a green marble effect colour. The interior shot and the rear view are from official ECW stock.

JWU 894

I have also added the highly cropped photo because it was the first bus photo I ever took – very predictable! It’s a pity that the old box Brownie didn’t give a satisfactory end result. This would have been about 1960/61, when the L6Bs were painted with large areas of red as they were demoted.

David Rhodes

03/07/13 – 07:02

Brilliant photos, David R. At this stage, the vestiges of Art Deco were still around, notably, in this case, with the sunrise backs to the seat.
And those enormous side windows, something which I’d never seen before in a coach of this era.
Very interesting – thx.

Chris Hebbron

03/07/13 – 15:18

…..but like contemporary Plaxtons, Chris, they are divided in the middle by a bright metal strip.

David Oldfield

18/07/13 – 07:43

The ‘Hants & Dorset’ open-toppers used on the journeys to Poole & Sandbanks in the 1960s had the cream & green livery almost identical to the Bristol coach pictured. It looked nice when clean, but did not wear well in wet weather.

Grahame Arnold

17/12/14 – 05:32

There was a period during my time at school in Bristol (1953-9) when BT&CC / BOC coaches had black trim instead of green and then afterwards went to Maroon!

Geoff Pullin

31/07/16 – 07:12

The Greyhound L6B coach was delivered with green trim, as were many of Bristol’s coaches, before having a brief flutter with black, then maroon and finally red. When new and in green the Greyhound in Wheel logo would NOT have been carried by NAE 3 (or NAE 1 and 2), but was by subsequent coaches. I have had it fitted to NAE 3 to confirm it’s previous identity – and I believe that it does not look out of place!

M Walker

03/08/16 – 14:31

NHY 946

I am surprised that MW says that NAE 1-3 did not have a metal Greyhound logo from new, but I cannot remember accurately back to those days! I imagine, with my experience of getting ECW to do anything out of the ordinary, that the logos would have been attached at Lawrence Hill upon delivery and pre-service inspection, together with fleet number transfers (later plates) – that was the way Tilling operators usually coped! I attach a photo of wider and longer LWL6B coach (NHY946 by then 2066) in maroon trim and the elegant Bristol Greyhound script at Bath bus station arrivals platform on September 15, 1963. I thought it looked very elegant and cosy in those days despite the body style being very dated compared to the current LS coaches already in service.

Geoff Pullin

30/07/17 – 06:51

My recollection agrees with Mike Walkers. My father a Bristolian who would have been around 20 when the Greyhound name disappeared would mention Greyhound occasionally. It was clearly regarded as a quality service compared to Tramways. In Bristol of the late 1950’s BT&CC were a monopoly as far as bus and express services were concerned. Excursions and tours were a different matter where there were a number of competing operators the main one being Wessex whose day or part day excursion program was probably three times the size of Tramways. My parents were regular Wessex customers and, as I wanted to try out one of the Bristol coaches, it took quite a bit of persuasion from a 7 or 8 year old to get them on to a BT&CC excursion – we went to Slimbridge I recall. Tramway’s coaches were the reverse of the bus livery; cream with green relief instead of green with cream relief. Around about 1960 or 1961, BOC as they then were, swapped the green in the coach livery for maroon and then a few years later for red. At the same time as the change in colour, the fleetname Bristol Greyhound and the motif were added. At the same time, or very close to it, the coach fleet, which had fleet numbers mixed indiscriminately with single deck buses, were renumbered in their series which made it much easier to remember which were coaches and which were buses. I am fairly sure that the idea of the colour change and resurrection of the Greyhound name was to create a distinction between Bristol’s coaches and the bus services.

Peter Cook


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